263 years ago today, Elizabeth Schuyler was born. Philip and Catherine’s second daughter, Elizabeth would live to be 97 years old.
In 1775, Tench Tilghman described Elizabeth as an energetic young woman with a keen sense of humor. While on a hike to the Cohoes Falls, Tilghman wrote that she, “…disdained all assistance, and made herself merry at the distress of the other ladies.” Elizabeth would eventually marry Alexander Hamilton, in December of 1780 at the age of 23. The two would be married for 24 years and had 8 children survive to adulthood. In 1804 Hamilton was shot and mortally wounded in a duel, leaving Elizabeth alone to raise their children with little in the way of financial resources. Because of this, she was forced to live off of the assistance of friends and family, as well as Hamilton’s military pension (not granted until 1837).
Elizabeth never remarried, and devoted her life to her children and charitable pursuits, despite her own monetary problems. Active in founding orphanages in New York City and Washington D.C., she was also known to take abandoned children in at her own home. Elizabeth’s other major work was curating Alexander Hamilton’s letters, collecting many, but also editing others (and having some destroyed) as she sought to shape the narrative of his life and career for future generations.
Elizabeth passed away at the house of her daughter, Eliza Hamilton Holly, in Washington D.C. in 1854.